Columbine Anniversary Brings Columbine & Red Lake Together

Monday, 20 April 2009

PRESS RELEASE:
Columbine Anniversary Brings Columbine & Red
Lake Together
DATE: APRIL 20, 2009
TIME: 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Place: Clement Park, Littleton,
Colorado
INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
INFORMATION INCLUDED:
– Joint statement from the family of a Columbine victim & the family of
the Red Lake, MN school shooter – total dead 25, total wounded 31
– FDA testimony of Columbine shooting victim Mark Allen Taylor
– Statement by Michael Moore about the cause of Columbine after making
the movie, “Bowling for Columbine”
– New Medical Article Linking Antidepressants to Murder/Suicide in
the Spring Issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
COLUMBINE & RED LAKE COME TOGETHER AT COLUMBINE
ANNIVERSARY
Donna Taylor: Mother of Mark Taylor, the first boy shot at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 as Eric and Dylan, on their way into the school, shot at those gathered to discuss scriptures outside. Eric Harris shot Mark 6 – 13 times with 9mil bullets. Mark survived earning himself the title of “The Columbine Miracle Boy.”
Tammy Lussier: Daughter of Officer Daryl (Dash) Lussier of the Red Lake Police Department and aunt to Jeff Weise who shot and killed Tammy’s father, his own grandfather, and eight others before taking his own life with his grandfather’s police firearm.
Our Message: Here we are together at the 10th Anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine High School. So, why would a family member of a school shooting victim and a family member of a school shooter come together? We want the world to know that antidepressants cause violence with the most popular antidepressant on the market today listing “homicidal ideation” as a potential side effect.
Many shot at Columbine have learned to do is to forgive Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold for doing what they did to them. We have just celebrated the glorious Easter season filled with the reassurance that through the mission of Jesus Christ we can overcome death and live again. As we remember Columbine we feel it is crucial to recall
that as Christ hung on the cross He plead with His Father in Heaven for those who were in the process of taking His life from Him “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In forgiving Eric and Dylan we believe that we are forgiving them for the same reason Christ asked for those taking his own life to be forgiven – they did not
know what they were doing April 20, 1999 when they took 15 lives, including their own, and injured 24 more.
Although USA Today attempted to rewrite history this past week and erroneously reported that the Columbine shooters were not on antidepressants we are here to remind the world that Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Whether Eric was sharing his meds with Dylan, which is far too common with kids, or was on his own prescription we will never know as his records were sealed. In the Red Lake school shooting Jeff Weise was taking
the antidepressant Prozac. Our statement today is that minus antidepressantswe feel sure that the shootings at Columbine High School and Red Lake, MN High School would never have happened and neither would the
majority of the other school shootings and workplace violence shootings (see www.ssristories.drugawareness.org for a long list of documented cases).
Antidepressants push the user into a dream state leaving one to act out nightmares. Columbine was a nightmare acted out by Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold, just as Red Lake was a nightmare acted out by Jeff Weise which took another 10 lives and injured 7 more. We do not believe they were conscious and coherent enough to fully understand what they were doing because of the adverse effects of antidepressants.
Over the past two years Donna has watched her son Mark go from a normal boy to someone she does no longer recognize because he was given two short bouts of similar drugs given to Eric Harris. Now Mark is living and
experiencing firsthand similar adverse reactions to what Eric was when he shot Mark. How ironic and tragic!
See Mark’s powerful statement below given before the FDA about these drugs that have now robbed him of who he is or was. [UPDATE: Please see the following video to see what has happened to Mark since this press release: http://www.drugawareness.org/mark-taylors-fight4columbine/ ]
If we want the shootings of Columbine and Red Lake to end we MUST learn the truth about the potential dangers of antidepressant medications.
____________________________________

Mark Taylor’s testimony before the FDA
9/13/2004

I am Mark Allen Taylor and I am a victim of the SSRI antidepressant era. I took six to thirteen bullets in the heart area in the Columbine High School shooting when Eric Harris on Luvox opened fire that now infamous day.

They almost had to amputate my leg and my arm. My heart missed by only one millimeter. I had three surgeries. Five years later I am still recuperating.

I went through all this to realize that SSRI antidepressants are dangerous for those who take them and for all those who associate with those who take them.

I hope that my testimony today shows you that you need to take action immediately before more innocent people like me, and you, do not get hurt or die horrible deaths as a result.

As Americans we should have the right to feel safe and if you were doing your job we would be safe. Why are we worrying about terrorists in other countries when the pharmaceutical companies have proven to
be our biggest terrorists by releasing these drugs on an unsuspecting public?

How are we suppose to feel safe at school, at home, on the street, at church or anywhere else if we cannot trust the FDA to do what we are paying you to do? Where were you when I and all of my classmates got shot at Columbine?

You say that antidepressants are effective. So why did they not help Eric Harris before he shot me?

According to Eric they “helped” him to feel homicidal and suicidal after only six weeks on Zoloft. And then he said that dropping off Luvox cold turkey would help him “fuel the rage” he needed to shoot everyone. But he continued on Luvox and shot us all anyway.

So, why did these so called antidepressants not make him better? I will tell you why. It is because they do not work!

We should consider antidepressants to be accomplices to murder.

_____________________________

To listen to Michael Moore’s statement about the cause of the Columbine tragedy after making the movie “Bowling for Columbine” – go to http://www.drugawareness.org/michael-moore-cause-of-columbine/

______________________________________

“Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibior [SSRI]
Drugs: More Risks Than Benefits?”

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: Volume 14: number 1: Spring 2009, there is an article by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., [Professor of chemistry emeritus at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.]
In regard to the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, the study reads on page 10: “The International Coalition for Drug Awareness in cooperation with the Prozac Survivors Support Group has produced a website on which about 1,600 [now 3,000] violent incidents associated with SSRI use are described (www.ssristories.drugawareness.org/index.php).”
In regard to SSRI Stories www.SSRIstories.net documenting the link between thousands of cases of multiple murder/suicides and antidepressants, Dr. Kaufmann made the following statement on page 10: “Since no clinical trial involving multiple homicides is ever likely to be run, no firmer evidence is likely to be found. Healy noted that much of the evidence for suicide and murder came from the efforts of journalists and lawyers”.To read the full article and see the data go to the journal’s websitehttp://www.jpands.org/jpands1401.htm or http://www.jpands.org/vol14no1/kauffman.pdf

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PAXIL: 85 Year Old Man Kills Wife: No History of Violence

PAXIL: 85 Year Old Man Kills Wife: No History of Violence

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:26 pm

“Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist with the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, testified for the state that he didn’t believe Basham was delirious when he killed his wife.

“He said he didn’t believe Basham’s contention that he didn’t remember anything about the killing, and that his first memory that day was waking up in the hospital. He said nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide that he has evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of thecrime.”

Well Mr. Forensic Psychologist just for your information (which I am sure drug companies have paid enough to your institution of higher learning to assure you never learn), the reason that ” . . . nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide [that you have] evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of the crime” is because the large majority of those
defendants charged with domestic homicide are on SSRI or SNRI antidepressants which affect memory so adversely that “amnesia” is listed as a frequent side effect. WAKE UP!!! If they cannot even remember who they are, how can they remember what happened?!!!

And if this case was prosecuted by the same prosecutor I went up against in Fayetteville a few years ago, who could not make one statement without first reading it from the SSRI Prosecutor’s How to Manual, it is no wonder the courts’ time is still being wasted prosecuting such cases when they should be immediately dismissed and apologis and settlements issued directly from the
drug manufacturers to these families! How very tragic for this poor old man and his family!!!

[The SSRI Prosecutor’s manual is distributed by the drug manufacturers in criminal cases to make sure that anyone who commits a crime, while under the influence of their drugs, goes immediately to jail . Why? So that their drugs remain “innocent” and therefore lucrative because who would want to use a drug that a court has just said produced a suicide or murder or other violent crime? Is providing such a manual illegal? No, but probably should be. Is it unethical? Without a doubt!!!!

But it was obvious to me when testifying in these cases that this manualexisted due to prosecutors asking the same questions of me, almost word for word in every case, no matter which SSRI was involved or where in the country the case was tried. So, while working as the defense attorney on Christopher Pittman’s case, Andy Vickery asked for the manual as evidence and got a copy
for us. If anyone would like to waste their time reading it let me know and I will gladly send you a copy.]

Now back to this elderly man’s case:

As you read through the next two paragraphs understand why I gasp when I hear that this man was given an SSRI while suffering from anxiety, pneumoniaand sleep apnea. You see, anything that increases serotonin – as the SSRI antidepressants are designed to do and all antidepressants do – shuts down the lungs thereby cutting off oxygen to the brain. This is how these drugs produce brain damage, the cutting off of the oxygen supply.

[If you would like to test out this idea on your own, do what I do. Every time you see someone who is not elderly, but generally is overweight and is
carrying around an oxygen tank, ask them which antidepressant they have been on and how long. Then explain to them that the main function of serotonin is the
constriction of smooth muscle tissue which includes the lungs and bronchial tubes [and all major organs] which is why they now need oxygen. And then give
them our website because they are going to want to know what else these drugs have done to their health. But always stress that abrupt or rapid
discontinuation of the drug/drugs is very dangerous.]

Paragraph 4 reads: “Ross testified that in an attempt to explain how Basham, who never had a reputation for violence and always got along with his
wife, could have committed such a bizarre act, she concluded that Basham suffered from delirium.”

Paragraph 7 reads: “Ross pointed out that Autry Basham had pneumonia, took the drug Paxil for anxiety

and suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. All those factors, which were present on the day of Marie Basham’s death, inhibited his ability to get
oxygen to his brain. A lack of oxygen can trigger delirium, she said, especially in the elderly.”

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Ross for being able to understand the real reason for Autry Basham’s delirium was lack of oxygen!!! I wish more
doctors would work a little harder to see what is actually happening in these cases to produce such out of character behavior rather than following the old
school where the drugs involved were very different. Perhaps lack of oxygen leading to delirium is an easier conclusion to arrive at in an elderly patient,
but it does happen in all age groups and is a huge contributing factor in these tragic cases. It is also another reason why hyperbaric oxygen treatment
is so very helpful after using these drugs and subsequently suffering from elevated serotonin levels.

There should be grave concern in our country about such tragic cases as this one where a couple has had a long and loving marriage relationship and in an
instant it is ended in such horror because of what we call “medication”! For those of you who are younger and sadly may not be aware, things like this
DID NOT HAPPEN in the world we grew up in!!!! Cases like this (which I now see far too often) were basically non-existent before the widespread use of
serotonergic drugs.

As it states on the front cover of my book, these drugs have literally turned our world upside down! For this we owe the younger generation and those
generations to come our deepest apologies for the extensive damage we have allowed to occur. I fear we have left you a terrible, terrible legacy that at
this point I do not know if we can make restitution for it.

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org(http://www.drugawareness.org/) &
www.ssristories.org (http://www.ssristories.org/)
Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our
Serotonin Nightmare & the audio, Help! I Can’t
Get Off My Antidepressant!!! ()

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/241972/
(http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/241972/)

SEBASTIAN COUNTY : Sides dispute delirium led to husband’s killing of wife
BY DAVE HUGHES

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008

GREENWOOD ­ A Fayetteville psychiatrist said Wednesday that 85-year-old Autry Basham suffered from delirium brought on by pneumonia and a sleep
disorder when he slashed the throat of his 83-year-old wife last year.

The testimony of Dr. Robin Ross in Sebastian County Circuit Court in Basham’s first degree murder trial bolstered the defense’s contention that Basham of
Mansfield is innocent of murder because of a mental disease or defect at the time he killed his wife of 64 years, Lola Marie Basham, on Aug. 27, 2007.

The jury trial before Circuit Judge James Cox began Monday and is expected to wrap up today.

Ross testified that in an attempt to explain how Basham, who never had areputation for violence and always got along with his wife, could have
committed such a bizarre act, she concluded that Basham suffered from delirium.

She said tension and anxiety Basham may have been feeling over the falling out between his wife and son Jerry Basham didn’t play a role in triggering
the delirium.

Prosecutors have told jurors they believe Basham killed his wife after they argued the weekend before about her failing memory and her belief that their
son didn’t pay as much attention to them as he should, given the financial and other help they gave him over the years.

Ross pointed out that Autry Basham had pneumonia, took the drug Paxil for anxiety and suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. All those factors, which
were present on the day of Marie Basham’s death, inhibited his ability to get oxygen to his brain. A lack of oxygen can trigger delirium, she said,
especially in the elderly.

Delirium was defined as a disruption of consciousness and a change in perception that can come on rapidly and can come and go over time. It would
have been possible for Basham, she said, to be delirious and still carry out a sequence of events in killing his wife.

In rebuttal, the prosecution called Little Rock forensic psychiatrist Raymond Molden who testified there was no direct evidence that Basham suffered
from delirium.

He said the fact that Basham called his son and daughter-in-law before killing his wife and then carried out the series of actions in killing his wife
showed that he took steps in a logical sequence to bring about a result.

Following a logical sequence of steps, he said, was inconsistent with aperson suffering from delirium.

Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist with the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, testified for the state that he didn’t believe Basham was
deliriouswhen he killed his wife.

He said he didn’t believe Basham’s contention that he didn’t remember anything about the killing, and that his first memory that day was waking up in
the hospital. He said nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide that he has evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of the
crime.

As you read through the next two paragraphs understand why I gasp when I hear that this man was given an SSRI while suffering from anxiety, pneumoniaand sleep apnea. You see, anything that increases serotonin – as the SSRI antidepressants are designed to do and all antidepressants do – shuts down the lungs thereby cutting off oxygen to the brain. This is how these drugs produce brain damage, the cutting off of the oxygen supply.

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10 Year Old Son Committed Suicide while Taking Effexor

“Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff!”

He was 10. Red headed, brown-eyed, full of life and laughter. His doctor spent 10 minutes with him and prescribed Effexor XR….said they would “ramp up” from 37.5 mg to 225 mg at which time his symptoms of ADHD would disappear.

They were RIGHT. Our son took 225 mg for exactly one day. We found him hanging in his closet by the belt of his new bathrobe that same night. Total time on Effexor: 27 days, each ramp up worse than the last in side effects. We were never told by the doctor nor the nurse that this drug could cause suicide or other very serious side effects.

We were never told to watch him closely. All I can say is don’t give this medication to your children unless you have all the facts, have been educated and feel you are making an educated decision for your child. Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff! If I knew then what I know now, he would have NEVER been on Effexor or any other drug.

Please help us fight for complete transparency in the FDA and push for the pharmaceutical companies’ complete disclosure of all studies, both positive and negative. It is the only way we will ever be informed parents. Please do not let my son’s death be only for the pharmaceutical companies’ gain. Be informed or refuse the drug outright.

Be SAFE, your kids are depending on you.

d.eriksson@comcast.net
Richardson, TX

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One and One Half Months off Effexor

“The up side of leaving all these drugs, is feeling like a mental blanket has been removed from my mind.”

I’m 51, legally blind, have extremely negative/violent child abuse history and took Effexor, Depakote and Zyprexa (.5 mg anti-psychotic) to counter borderline psychotic symptoms. I’ve been on all these drugs for 8 years. Since the changes at my HMO, I dropped all medications over the past year. I want to catalogue my symptoms – they are varied and thankfully, not as severe as many other accounts I’ve read. What is different for me, is the rotation of symptoms, there is always something happening, differently, every day.

Zyprexa: After almost 6 weeks off the meds (cold turkey). I went into vomiting that was so severe, I wondered if I would need an ambulance. Having no extra money, canceled that possibility, so I just rode out about 3 hours of dry heaves. That was the one and only episode, I’ve had no symptoms of any kind – no losing myself in memories (not knowing what year it is), no feelings that my furniture is trying to kill me. I really believe, as I’ve taken responsibility/stock of my life, that the underlying anger driving a lot of the above has truly left my life.

Depakote: Had to dump this expensive drug for some liquid generic that caused me to eat over-the-counter antacids like candy. Had no problems getting off either of these drugs.

Effexor: Took 75mg Effexor XR. Dr. tapered me off over three weeks – and after reading “Prozac…” by Dr. Tracy, I waited to degenerate into a blithering idiot. I really got frightened over the possible permanent brain damage. Thankfully, my mind seems intact, but my body is very busy.

Remember the joy of getting on Effexor? The nausea/vomiting. I got to where I always had a ‘to-go’ cup from 7-11 with me for those charming moments with friends and family, when it was simply time to throw-up! I really liked not being actively suicidal and figured the side effects would pass. Thankfully, after about 5 months they did.

The up side of leaving all these drugs, is feeling like a mental blanket has been removed from my mind. Joys/sorrows are right there for me to experience. I notice I have no ‘reserves,’ When I have a mental reaction – good/bad, I’m right out there with it. I’m gradually learning the self-control that is possible for me. There were generations of people that didn’t have to take pills to function – I claim that healing for myself.

On the down side, it is all physical for me. Within weeks of totally stopping the meds, after the ‘tapering-off’ period I ran into the worst muscle aches I’ve ever experienced. A feeling like when you over work a muscle – but all over the body. I do part-time house work and was almost in tears from the pain. I went to a local hotel that provided in-room hot tub and as long as I was physically in the hot water, I had no pain. Upon leaving the water, it all came rushing back. Due to high rent, I have a shower down the hall, and friends generously share their bathtubs with me, when I just can’t take it any more.

Some days I wake up with a free-floating suicidal attitude: “Yeah, nothing is worth anything, you aren’t worth anything…” I’ve learned to ignore this and treat myself like I did when I was battling short-term depression. Show and easy with patience and compassion. When the mind is troubled, the muscles don’t hurt at all.

Within the last two days I’m back to throwing-up all the time. I truly don’t know if this is going to continue, or if I might actually have the flu. I’m pretty sure this is drug withdrawal, it feels very familiar – not the flu. I also go through periods of being totally tired, sleeping for sixteen hours and than, for a day or so, I go back to aching body. It is kind of a circle.

I have decided that the cause of most of my really severe depression (after untangling being raised by a truly psychotic mother) was due to very unrealistic expectations about myself as a legally blind person and our society and how said culture deals with disability. Due to poor self-image, I compensated with terrible arrogance. The government gives me money because statistically 75-80% of the blind can’t find enough work to actually take care of themselves. Lots of reasons, but mainly having to do with not being able to interface with computer equipment (with adaptive, very expensive equip). I refused to deal with this reality and made myself very crazy. There is great wisdom in truly knowing what the ‘truth’ is. Now that I accept the reality of what my body can and can’t do, I can make intelligent decisions about work, staying/leaving government support, etc. I also had to accept the truth that our culture has a real problem with disability in general and blindness in particular. Choosing my battles makes it possible for me to do something valuable, without draining myself so totally, that, guess what?…I go into severe depression.

I hope this is helpful to someone. It is possible to recover and recover well, but it takes time, self-honesty and a willingness to be flexible. I’ve lived through the suicide of four friends, and if I feel like I’m heading in that direction, I’d be at my HMO so fast – thankfully, my psychiatrist is totally supportive of what I’m trying to do. He didn’t feel withdrawal from Effexor was a problem, but he said he’d had problems withdrawing people from Paxil.

Religion can be very helpful, but be careful not to fall into that co-dependent trap of letting someone else ‘think’ for you. THAT also leads to depression.

Jane Kohner
San Francisco Bay Area
jane_kohner@yahoo.com

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Can antidepressants cause Fybromyalga?

“It took me over six months to wean myself off all antidepressants.”

I know antidepressants are used as to alleviate the symptoms of Fybromyalga, but is it possible that antidepressant use actually begins the cycle of pain, sleeplessness, irritable bowel syndrome, etc., that we know of as Fybromyalga?

About five years ago I was in great health, but had a very painful love affair and was beginning menopause. I cried in my doctor’s office, and he insisted I needed antidepressants. He put me on Paxil. After about eight months on Paxil, I went off it because I felt numb emotionally, had completely lost interest in sex, etc. I was then diagnosed with bilateral tendonitis, bursitis, carpel tunnel and arthritis.

All these symptoms came on overnight, so it was pretty amazing. After unsuccessful therapies, my doctor talked me into going back on antidepressants, probably because he thought some of this was in my head. I had a hard time getting back on them, because I had really adverse side effects — severe headaches, vertigo, sleepiness, e! tc.

Finally I started with a tiny dose of Effexor and was able to tolerate it. Got better for a few months, but didn’t like the emotional numbness, lack of sex drive. This time when I went off it I had horrible side effects — electric shocks in my head, headaches, sweats, tremors, nightmares — and severe muscle pain. I was then diagnosed with Fybromyalga and put back on Effexor. Doctor told me Effexor was “masking my Fybromyalga symptoms.” I got better for about six weeks, when they had to up my dosage again. Soon the doctor added a second antidepressant — nortriptyline, which, again, worked for a month or two and then they had to keep upping the dose.

Soon I was having nightmares, couldn’t carry on a conversation, and the pain kept getting worse. I had trouble remembering where I was. Sometimes I had to pull over on the side of the road because I couldn’t remember how to get home. After months like this, I decided the meds WERE the problem, even though the doctors disagreed and said the Fybromyalga was actually causing these symptoms. It took me over six months to wean myself off all antidepressants, and coming off them increased my symptoms, at least temporarily.

During this time I also developed an arrhythmia that I had never had before and my blood pressure jumped from 110/80 to 160/90. Doctor said it’s because I am getting older. I have been off antidepressants for over six months and I still have all the symptoms of Fybromyalga but it is getting better. I see an acupuncturist and a chiropractor, which both seem to help, but I have this very strong feeling that taking the antidepressants hampered my own ability to regulate serotonin and caused Substance P to develop in my spine, which caused the Fybromyalga.

I would like to hear from anyone else who has a case history like this. My sister has Fybromyalga and takes all these antidepressants, and she has gotten much worse. She has had two strokes and now has Parkinson’s.

Linda Valine
llvaline@sbcglobal.net

 

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My Effexor Withdrawal Story

“There were times where it seemed like I could barely sort out how to walk or breath.”

I have been through a good number of meds for depression and mood stabilizers. Never have I experienced any withdrawal effects until now. In December of 2003 the Effexor “lost its efficacy.” Turns out that 6 months drug trials do not show that this antidepressant frequently just stops working. I was taking 75 mg Effexor (immediate release) in the morning and after work. Once I was stabilized on Wellbutrin XR my psychiatrist put me on a taper of 75 mg, 50 mg, 25 mg for one or two weeks each. In February of 2004 I was on the 25 mg when my dad died. We stopped the taper figuring there was enough going on.

I did not realize it at the time but I was experiencing withdrawal during the taper. I thought it was just something in me acting up. (I am one of the over 50% of folks with bipolar who are also addicts – toss of a coin I guess – clean since March 24, 2003.) I was real irritable, poor coordination, light headed/weird feeling in the back of my scull, hallucinations from the corner of my eye, extreme confusion. There were times where it seemed like I could barely sort out how to walk or breath. Not to mention I became acutely aware of the sexual side effects I had unknowingly been experiencing from the Effexor.

So now it is May of 2004 and we decided to finish the taper. I was on 12.5 mg for a week and now I have been on 0 mg for 2 days. This is hell. I had withdrawal on the 12.5 mg but it was OK. I was real irritable with everyone, emotional, all the symptoms that I experienced before. Within 3 days things were OK and then by the 4 everything seemed back to normal. But the withdrawal from 0 mg is the worst. Added to the list of symptoms are intense flu like stomach sensations, and sobbing jags. Usually they are 5-10 second jags and happen for no reason. It happened 4 times while watching “Where the heart is.” This is not a movie that should make a person cry 4 times. Now that it is the second day with no Effexor the crying jags have gotten longer and more intense. Now there are tears whereas before there were none. I do feel like the crying is helping to mourn my father’s death some more.

I feel like the first day I put down dope. Part of the reason I stay clean is because I never want the feeling of having 1 day clean. I see people come in with a few days clean and the misery and pain is so clear. They help to remind me how much it sucks to get clean. That it is so much easier to stay clean than to get clean. I have not used but here I am feeling like I just walked into the rooms.

I don’t know if I am looking to get into a lawsuit but I do not understand why Effexor is still prescribed. I know that the reason it is still on the market is because it is still bought. Drug companies are in the business of making money so I do not really blame them. If the med stops selling the company will take it off the market. However doctors are in the business of making people well. It is the doctor I hold responsible more than the drug company. Is Effexor being prescribed out of ignorance or is there a unique benefit that outweighs the risks of withdrawal symptoms? I don’t know. I do know that I need to talk to my psychiatrist about it. I also know that I have heard a bunch of people saying they are Effexor and I have been telling! them to get off as soon as possible.

Thanks for letting me share.

Jon Faber
bankytoo@yahoo.com

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Hysteria and Self Loathing on Effexor

“I had repeatedly expressed suicidal tendencies.”

9 weeks ago I went to my doctor complaining of depression. Following a traumatic event I found myself weepy, irritable, unsociable etc – classic depression symptoms. I was prescribed Efexor 75mg. The first week was amazing – my partner and I thought it was a miracle drug. After that however things became markedly worse and I had to return to my GP. I was now suffering from states of near hysteria, self loathing, was unable to attend college and was suffering awful nightmares. All my original symptoms had worsened markedly. My dose was increased to 150 mg.

Shortly after this I started feeling suicidal and self harmed. We returned to the GP who insisted that the Efexor takes up to 8 weeks to work, and said that if I became suicidal again I was to go straight to casualty. By now I had no sex drive and my partner was unable to leave me alone when I was suffering from an ‘episode’. 2 days later we went to casualty due to suicidal thoughts and the fact that I had stockpiled all medications I could find and planned to go to a hotel to commit suicide. I was assessed by Psychiatric services where I told them everything, including my suicidal tendencies. They said that they would arrange for a community psychiatric nurse to visit me, and sent me home telling me to keep taking my Efexor. By this point I was drinking heavily with cravings for alcohol, something I have never experienced before, and my partner had found me unconscious on the floor from alcohol mixed with a sleeping tablet.

The CPN came out, assessed me and 5 days later came back to give me phone numbers for 6 month waiting lists for counseling. I continued to self harm and was now suffering from periods of intense rage, throwing furniture about to the point that my neighbors threatened to phone the police. I am usually a very mild mannered, appeasing person.

I was next given an appt with a counselor. I attended and she was so concerned about what I told her that she called the local Psychiatric Hospital and tried to have me admitted immediately. They asked if I could hang on for 4 days until the CPN could see me again. All through this I was seeing my GP at least once a week and was being told to just hang on until the Efexor kicked in. At this point I had to pick my prescription up weekly and give it to my partner as I had repeatedly expressed suicidal tendencies. I still managed to take an overdose of Efexor and was detained in hospital overnight. I requested that they hospitalize me as I was terrified, but instead was sent back to the CPN who spent half an hour with me then sent me home telling me that I had to think positive and accept responsibility.

My partner and I were scared stiff as each episode of self harm was worse than the last, and characterized by a feeling that I wasn’t in control. I had very little memory of the episode afterwards and during was premeditated enough to actually go out and purchase sharper knives to cut myself with. I was now concerned that I felt like harming others during these episodes as well. I became extremely aggressive and paranoid, imagining hidden meaning in what people said to me. I was so sure that this would end fatally that I started to prepare a will. I was still attending weekly appts and expressing the opinion that my medication was at the very least ineffective, and at the worst causing these symptoms.

4 days ago my partner left me alone for just over 2 hours. He returned to find a garbled note begging for help and hospitalization and expressing self loathing, and I was covered in blood and in shock from a multitude of wounds on my leg. I went to casualty again – the same one- where I required over 30 stitches and was sent home no questions asked. The next day I had another appt with the CPN, and his behaviour towards my partner and myself was so bad that I am making an official complaint. He attempted to pick a fight with my partner and also seemed to be daring me to get the pills I was contemplating overdosing on. That afternoon, I also had an appt with a psychiatrist. He spent 2 1/2 hours with my partner and I and told me to stop taking Efexor immediately. I was sent back to my GP where I have been prescribed another drug and told that it looks as though Efexor was the cause of 9 weeks of hell, that my partner and I don’t doubt would have ended fatally. Throughout I was told what a fantastic drug Efexor is and to keep taking it, and as a result will now be covered in scars. I have had to drop out of college as well. Certainly I was depressed and needed treatment, but I feel that someone should have listened to my concerns about my drug sooner. My GP stated that it is extremely difficult to prove that this was the Efexor or I would seriously consider suing. Now I’m just worried about the withdrawal symptoms. One of the worst things was that for a while – hours or days I would be depressed but not as bad, so we thought that this was a cycle of my moods caused by the depression.

Jennifer Pass
jen_pass@hotmail.com

501 total views, 1 views today

Effexor & Topamax

“I never want to take pills again.”

Hello all, My name is Denise and thankfully I am still alive to tell this story and hopefully help someone. I have been bulimic for 17 years, on and off but never sought treatment until 2000. My Dr. put me on Effexor. When I went back to see him I told him I couldn’t sleep he put me on Xanax. I did that for about 2 years but got tired of taking pills all the time. I went off the Effexor, and the withdrawals were horrible, headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, no appetite, but I made it.

After I stopped the meds I realized how poorly I was sleeping while I was on them because I always felt “Hyped up” mentally but physically worn out.

After about six months I got pregnant and then suffered a miscarriage. I went back on the Effexor and Xanax. Also the Dr. said Topamax was being used to treat bulimia. So then I was on 3 meds. One of the Great things about Topamax is it did help with my headaches/migraines. A few months later I stopped the Effexor again (another bad withdrawal) and cut way down on the Xanax. after 4 months of just taking Topamax, I starting getting SERIOUSLY SUICIDAL.

I wouldn’t leave my house or go to the gym. I didn’t want to go out. I went to the Dr’s Office and told him this and he gave me sample of Wellbutrin. As I left I thought “more meds!!!” So I decided to do my own research and discovered that Topamax can cause suicidal feelings/depression so I stopped taking it. I never want to take pills again. I am looking into B-Complex for the migraines.

Thanks,

Denise Lee
thecure6@bellsouth.net

450 total views, 1 views today

Addicted to Effexor

“(It)…was one of the most horrible things I have ever experienced in my life.”

I also have posted “my story” on another informational site about anti-depressants, but I believe my story needs to be heard on your site as well. It is quite a bit to read, but hopefully it will help some people…

My problems with depression first started when I was about 9-10 years old. I had “normal” depression symptoms: I slept a lot, and was doing poorly in classes at school. I had school counselors lecture me every week about it, but I was in the “gifted” program at school, so it wasn’t as if I didn’t understand the material. This went on until 7th grade, when I failed ALL of my classes. My parents met with the principal of the school, who was threatening to hold me back. My parents thought there was something wrong with me, so I had an IQ test done to check my “capacity”. After 6 hours of testing, they found my IQ was 186, so no problems there…

My parents refused to put me on antidepressants for a long time. They were in denial that there was anything actually “wrong” with me, especially my mother… which was odd, because depression runs on her side of the family. They kept having me tested for everything else that could be causing the tiredness (thyroid and iron levels are the two I can remember). They changed my diet and we joined a health club, but it did nothing for me.

The doctor I had at the time pressed my parents for so long to put me on an antidepressant. My first antidepressant I went on was Zoloft, when I was 15. At first, the feelings it gave me were nice – my energy level went way up, and my parents were pleased that I was doing things around the house instead of sleeping. However, I gained 20 pounds in one month of taking it, without changing my diet at all. And as the months went by, I gradually needed more and more Zoloft, so my doctor decided to switch me to Celexa.

I was on Celexa for 4 months, but it was like I was on nothing at all. I didn’t feel any different from taking it. I was then switched to Lexapro (which is made by the same manufacturer, and is very similar I’m told), but it also did nothing. I was then put on Paxil, which I was on for about 5 months. At this time I was a senior in high school.

Paxil was one of the most horrible things I have ever experienced in my life. Side story: I also started having acid reflux disease at the same time my depression began, which I ended up having surgery for, also when I was a senior in high school. I was taking the Paxil up until when I had the surgery. The side effects of Paxil were intense to begin with, but also didn’t agree with what else I had going on with my body – I had intense abdominal pain, freakish dreams at night, sweated constantly, was nauseated / vomited frequently (which I did not have before despite the acid reflux), was dizzy, anxious, and went between being overheated and incredibly chilled… not to mention I gained 30 pounds in two weeks. This was all without changing my diet! But still my doctor pressed me to stay on the Paxil, saying it would take time, that my weight would go back down, that the side effects would simply just “go away,” but they never did.

When I was scheduled to have acid reflux surgery, I had to quit the Paxil cold turkey. All I can say is it made me feel disgusting. The memory most prominent to me about it was my sense became very distorted, especially my vision and hearing. For a long time, everything sounded muffled, like I was underwater. When I would move my head, or even just my eyes, I would feel and almost hear these “electric zaps” in my head. I had to stop driving from the intense dizziness (and have yet to drive since then), and that my vision became very blurry. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, and I was so paranoid of everything that I couldn’t be happy, or even FUNCTION… It took nearly half a year for the effects of this to go away.

Nine months after I had quit Paxil, things were too unbearable for me to live without help from an antidepressant. Despite what I had experienced in the past, I was stupid and desperate enough to try my luck again. I was prescribed Wellbutrin, which didn’t last for a week because I had an allergic reaction to it (my body broke out in a horrible rash and I looked like a lobster!). I had to wait 3 weeks for the rash to die down after stopping the medication to try a new one… this time Effexor.

Looking back on it now I wish I had NEVER, EVER started that drug. Some of the side effects I experienced at first were nausea, constant migraines, I was extremely tired but unable to fall asleep, dry mouth, nervousness, abnormal sweating, decreased appetite, vertigo, and irregular heartbeat, just to name a few. My doctor increased me to 300 mg within a month of starting – which I’m sure was far too much, because within the first few hours of taking it, I would feel almost manic and crazed… I developed social anxiety disorder, which I’ve never had in the past, and I become too scared, flustered, and embarrassed to speak in front of more than three or four people.

Well, I had been on Effexor for almost 7 months (which would have been almost a month ago, now), when I stopped taking it. The side effects were just too unbearable. Also I am having stomach problems again, this time with a hiatal hernia, so I’m unable to digest pills. My doctor tapered me off of the 300 mg of Effexor XR within a three week period – seems too fast for someone that was on that much … He tried putting me on liquid Prozac, but the medication tasted horrible and I threw up almost instantly after every time I took it, so the Prozac didn’t last longer than a week before I quit.

I am absolutely beside myself right now with my Effexor problems – nearly a month after I quit, and I am beside myself with frustration and agony. I feel like I am addicted to this drug. I threw away the bottle after I was told to stop taking it, and now I sadly regret it so much. My brain feels like it’s screaming at me to get more of these pills, the feelings I have without them are too unbearable. I literally feel like I’m going insane. My depression is more extreme right now than it has ever been in my life. I’m having borderline personality disorder symptoms. At first I was just very tired, depressed, and agitated with everything, but now I’m having the sensory disturbances again – my hearing sounds like someone is playing with a big volume knob in my head, as things are always almost too quiet for me to hear, or too loud to tolerate.

I’m too nauseated and have too much stomach/chest pain to want to eat anything, so I’ve stopped eating solid food and now just mostly consume Jell-O, broths, pudding, popsicles, and creamy soups. I take massive amounts of vitamins and protein shakes because my health has deteriorated so much from it… my coordination and vision have become so bad that I can’t drive now. I sleep 18+ hours a day, but usually wake up every 30 minutes during sleep because of intense, sick nightmares that I have, usually about me dying… I go between being incredibly depressed and almost manic, something else I’ve never experienced before. Everything feels like it’s tipped on a 45 degree angle; I’m very dizzy, and have intense vertigo. I go to art school, and had to take off the quarter it’s gotten so bad – not to mention I can’t draw now because the tremors in my hands are so bad.

When I go in for surgery for my hiatal hernia in a few weeks, I’m going to hospitalize myself because I need more help getting through this Effexor withdrawal. I honestly feel insane. I’m so depressed that I’ve started cutting my arms, and I’m not even sure why. Also I hallucinate every few hours and see things – just today I saw blood dripping down my wall, an alligator walk across my bedroom, and when I woke up from a nap this afternoon I honestly thought I saw a woman standing over my bed with a knife. I went back to see my psych for help, and all he told me was to “wait it out” and “there’s nothing I can do for you now.” Why the hell are people prescribed these drugs if the withdrawal symptoms are so HORRIBLE?!

Reivena

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Bad Effexor Trip Almost Killed Me

“I strongly believe Effexor should be yanked off the market IMMEDIATELY.”

Hi. I wanted to share my nightmarish experience with Effexor XR. I was put on Effexor XR in the year 2000 for what was believed to be major depression. This med is highly dangerous and I am pretty sure it can cause permanent brain damage, just like its illegal cousins.

When I was a rebel teenager, I used strong LSD, Speed, X-tasy and PCP, unfortunately. So I knew what those drugs did and felt like. Of course I quit a long time ago – it was just a teenage phase. Little did I know that I would “trip” again years later, but this time on a legal medication…

After a week on Effexor at 150mg a day, I started to feel unusually “high”. Felt like I was on some sort of stimulant or speed. I couldn’t sleep, I felt stoned, my thoughts raced and anxiety went up. I was told it was all normal. But as days passed, I began to feel like if I had used a potent hallucinogenic drug! I saw tracers (trails), doors bent and moved, walls gently caved in and out, colours were funny and I had a weird field of vision very similar to LSD but it didn’t feel cool or good at all. I was sweating profusely, had the shakes, was agitated and my pupils were dilated. My heart raced, my legs felt like Jello, I had a terrible headache, very weird thoughts and digestion problems. I knew that this was definitely not normal!

I began to become paranoid and started freaking out. My experience was nothing else than a full-blown chemical drug bad trip. And god knows those are extremely dangerous – some people don’t come back… I knew, I instinctively knew Effexor was the cause so I quit abruptly, refusing my treatment in the hospital. I accepted the other meds such as tranquilizers though. This is when it got really ugly.

A few hours after skipping my dose, I began to get electric shocks in my head and urges to move about. My head felt like it was in a huge vice, my vision was blurred and cloudy, my hearing was altered, I saw spots. I felt I was stuck in between dream and reality, on another planet. Physically, I was just exhausted but couldn’t sleep even on strong tranquilizers. And my stomach felt like I had eaten a slab of lead! But I bit wood and told myself that I would rather die than take another dose.

I got really scared – did a month of Effexor use fry my brain FOREVER? I tried to imagine what my brain would have felt like if I had used LSD or PCP for a month every single day… It would be gone, burnt, finished, deep fried! I came to the conclusion that Effexor destroyed my neurons for good and that I would be a vegetable for the rest of my life. This is when I tried to commit suicide to escape the pain that was just too horrible to describe in words.

After a nearly successful attempt (real close one), I was hospitalized again and put on Depakote. I told the doc that if they put me back on antidepressants like Effexor, I would kill myself with the first sharp thing I’d find. So I got things my way.

Gradually I got better as my brain VERY SLOWLY recovered. All in all, I was on Effexor a month and it took me 3-4 months for my brain to BEGIN functioning normally. A few years have past since then and I’d say my brain almost fully recovered. I was lucky. Some people say their brain stayed fried.

I strongly believe Effexor should be yanked off the market IMMEDIATELY. I have no idea how this got passed the FDA. Makes you wonder who works for who. It should be like totally illegal because way too dangerous! If your doctor wants to put you on Effexor because you are depressed, tell him you’d rather be depressed than risk killing your brain cells with an evil drug!

I now take Depakote, Seroquel and some Trazadone for my condition (Bipolar II) at medium-low doses and it works fine with no serious side effects. Not all meds are bad, some really help. Others can be deadly though. Psychiatry is not an accurate science, its about doctors too often acting like the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Martin M. (25 yo male with Bipolar disorder type II)
martin1789@yahoo.com

598 total views, 1 views today